In that instance, 59 Tomahawk missiles were fired at a Syrian airbase in the western part of the country following a chemical attack blamed on Assad's forces.
"A short time ago, I ordered the United States armed forces to launch from precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad", Trump announced on Friday.
"Very soon, very soon, we're coming out", Trump said in telegraphing his thoughts to a crowd in Richfield, Ohio, on March 30. Mattis said the number of weapons used was about double those employed in a strike in April 2017.
The U.S., United Kingdom and France carried out the strikes in the early morning hours on targets that U.S. officials said were linked to a Syrian government chemical weapons program. "This will reduce the regime's ability to further attack the people of Syria with chemical weapons", NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement.
Russian officials and President Trump have exchanged heated rhetoric since Trump began talk of a US response to the alleged chemical attack throughout the past week. The president also addressed Iran and Russian Federation directly, asking the two Assad allies: "What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women, and children?" Syrian media claimed that air defences hit 13 rockets south of Damascus.
He said the USA did not want an "indefinite presence" in Syria and would only stay until Islamic State was destroyed.
The decision comes after a week of heated debate about whether or not the United States should take military action in Syria.
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"In the past year and a half Russian Federation has fully restored Syria's air defence system and continues to further upgrade it", Rudskoi said.
He called them "most responsible for supporting, equipping and financing the criminal Assad regimen".
"We are acting together with our American and French allies".
Trump also took a swipe at Russian Federation and Iran, condemning their continued support to Assad's regime. The Pentagon expects to provide information on these matters tomorrow morning.
Also responding to the attacks, Iran warned of "regional consequences", the AFP reported.
SANA reported that the joint operation was targeting military installations around Damascus and near the central city of Homs.
Officials also said the strike was larger than a similar attack on the Assad regime launched previous year. The next Syrian attack - strike three - will likely produce a large-scale US response.
"We welcome this operation which has eased humanity's conscience in the face of the attack in Douma, largely suspected to have been carried out by the regime", the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement.